Status Report

NASA MODIS Image of the Day: June 23, 2011 – Fires near Lake Baikal, Russia

By SpaceRef Editor
June 23, 2011
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NASA MODIS Image of the Day: June 23, 2011 – Fires near Lake Baikal, Russia
NASA MODIS Image of the Day: June 23, 2011 - Fires near Lake Baikal, Russia


A vast expanse of summer-green taiga of eastern Russia was mottled with dozens of red hotspots, indicating actively burning fires on June 20, 2011.

The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) aboard the Aqua satellite captured this true-color image at 6:10 UTC that same day.

In the lower right corner of the image lies Lake Baikal, the world’s deepest lake. At an average depth of 744.4 meters, this lake holds approximately one-sixth of the world’s fresh water. On the day this image was captured, it also was flanked with multiple red hotspots accompanied by smoke plumes, indicating active fires. The land to the east of Lake Baikal lies in the Buryat Republic while the land on the western shore belongs to the Irkutsk Region. To the far west (left) of the image, the land belongs to the Krasnoyarsk Territory. The curved body of water near the center of the image is Bratsk Reservoir, built upon the Angara River. The Angara rises from Lake Baikal, courses northward then turns to the west. It joins the Yenisei River in the far left of the image. On June 22, the Global Fire Monitoring Center reported 172 fires burning throughout the Russian Federation, with 118 new wildfires registered in the previous 24 hours. One large fire in the Irkutsk Region was reported to be 1,300 hectares in size. It is likely that this fire can be seen in the upper left section of this image, billowing smoke over the region. The same report lists 40 active fires in Krasnoyarsk Territory, 68 in Irkutsk Region, and 7 in the Buryat Republic. Warm weather and very difficult terrain are hindering firefighting efforts in these three regions. Krasnoyarsk, the third largest city in Siberia and the administrative center of Krasnoyarsk Territory, can be seen at the far left edge of this image, near the center. It appears as a large gray smudge. The gray of the city blends with the large amount smoke blanketing the region.

SpaceRef staff editor.